How to style a black shirt? 45 outfits with black shirts for guys.

Published by Chuck Boylan on

How to style a black shirt?

If you are a style-savvy guy, who believes in owning a well-equipped wardrobe that is never short of essentials, you can’t possibly afford to not have a top-shelf black shirt in your closet. By a black shirt we mean a button-down or a polo in black, you do own one of these, don’t ya? A black button-down shirt is one of the must-haves that every modern guy should own, the same is true for a black polo shirt. This article is about styling a black shirt (button-down or a polo shirt) in the best way and creating stylish black shirt outfits using your wardrobe staples and essentials. A black button-down or polo shirt can be worn in every situation from formal to casual. So, if you own a crisp black polo or a button-down and are looking for some inspiration then you are at the right place. Before moving on to our list of black shirt outfits, let’s have a look at this style cheat sheet for a black shirt.

How to style a black shirt?

Like any other shirt, a black polo or button-down should be of the right fit, the right fit re-enforces the slimming effect of the color black. When using a black shirt as the topmost layer, the choice of pants becomes all the more important. 

What to wear with a black shirt? A pair of white jeans or any other neutral pastel will work best with a black shirt. Alternatively, when trying bottoms in darker colors opt for shades of black or patterned trousers featuring black shades. Being a neutral color, black works with everything, but it’s better to go for contrasting colors or colors that are somewhat matching.

Shoes to try with a black shirt: Black is the king when it comes to choosing footwear color with a black shirt outfit. Opt for black formal shoes, loafers, or Chelsea boots with a black shirt outfit, alternatively, you can choose kicks that match the color of your pants. Wear white sneakers when you are trying a pair of white jeans and think of matching your khakis or brown pants with your buff or brown shoes. It’s always on the table to go by the classic rule of opting for the shoes that match your belt, in case you wear one.

Styling a black shirt formally: A black shirt whether a polo shirt or a button-down can be effortlessly introduced into stylish smart casual suits without ties. You should throw on your top-shelf black shoes when using a black shirt with a suit, This is not a rule of thumb though, but it looks effortlessly cool.

The casual style: You can wear a black shirt with a number of bottoms, jeans, chinos, and shorts included. The look won’t be super casual in a stereotypical street style way, even if you use it with shorts. 

5 dos and don’ts of styling a black shirt?

  1. When wearing a black shirt, avoid baggy or loose fit, it won’t be flattering, Opt for a slimmer, silhouette-friendly fit. 
  2. Exercise discretion when going untucked with the black shirt. A black button-down or polo shirt is a smart casual staple, a casually smart look is something you should be looking for.
  3. Don’t let your black shirt be the lone ranger in your outfit, this means this shouldn’t be the lone black item! Something else in black, like a belt, shoes, jacket, headgear, etc. should be there to assist the black shirt in creating a stylish look. 
  4. When considering colors of pants, avoid dark colors other than black, opt for pastels instead. Start with white, because this is the easiest to style and looks good on everyone. Khaki is your second-best choice, light grey, beige, and stone are the shades that work well with black shirts.
  5. Opt for slim or straight-fit pants, not the super skinny fit! Going super snug with your pants will make things tougher from the style point of view as they will make you look like a tryhard vying for attention. 

Hopefully, this collection of black shirt outfit ideas will make you love your black shirt even more!

45 outfits with black shirts for guys.

Outfit#1: With formal pants.

A black shirt is best utilized as a part of a smart casual or a business casual look by pairing it with a crisp pair of slacks finishing the look by adding your best formal shoes preferably in black.

With blue jeans:

A black shirt works perfectly with blue jeans to create a smart casual look, you have to use a shirt that fits you well and tuck it in to smarten up the jeaned look.

With chinos, cargo pants, and other casual pants.

A pair of slim-fit chinos solid or plaid is an option worth considering, these outfits will show you how good you can look in these black shirt outfits. A black shirt with camo or cargo pants in solid earthy tones will work for everyone.

Outfit#3: With white pants.

A black shirt can be paired with white pants or even white jeans for an on-trend smart casual look. A casual black shirt can be worn unbuttoned and layered over a tee with white jeans or white shorts.

Outfit#8: All-black outfits.

If a monochrome total-black look floats your boat then you can use a black shirt in all sorts of all-black outfits catering to every occasion, season, and mood.

Outfit#11: The layered look with a black shirt.

You can layer a black shirt under any casual jacket and pair it with the bottoms of your choice. It’s better to opt for jackets in dark colors and earthy tones to look sharp in your black shirts.

Outfit#13: Aesthetic black shirt outfits with shorts.

Now if you want to let your black shirt shine with summery sprezzatura vibes use it with shorts, tucked in, untucked, buttoned up, or unbuttoned. If you choose the right fit and the right ingredients you win.

Outfit#14: The casual untucked look.

The untucked casual look with a black shirt is a must-try if you are a black shirt aficionado. You can let your black shirt outfits exude nonchalance by donning it untucked with your most lived-in bottoms.

Outfit#15: With khakis.

A black shirt and khakis are made for each other, you can’t possibly go wrong with a well-fitted black shirt paired with a slim-fit pair of khaki pants. This link will lead you to more khaki pants outfits for your interest.

Outfit#28: With formal and smart casual suits.

Black polo shirt outfit ideas for guys

Every modern guy should own a black polo shirt. Because it is one of the easiest shirts to style, this explains why a black polo shirt is so popular and is a must-have. Just rock it with any pair of pants, you’ll only need a pair of black shoes and a black leather belt, if you wear one, to nail this iconic black polo shirt look. When not wearing black shoes or a black belt, bring in any other black piece and you have a failsafe outfit recipe with the stylish black polo shirt at the center stage.

Outfit#36: Aesthetic black shirt outfits.

How to style a black shirt? black shirt outfit ideas for guys.

Outfit#37: Black polo shirt and jeans combination.


Outfit#38: A black polo shirt with a tan overcoat.


Outfit#39: Aesthetic black shirt outfits.


Outfit#40: A black polo shirt with grey pants.


Outfit#41: A black polo shirt with beige pants.


Outfit#42: Aesthetic black shirt outfits.


Outfit#43: A black polo shirt with khakis.


Outfit#44: Aesthetic black shirt outfits. A black polo shirt with grey pants.


Outfit#45: Aesthetic black polo shirt outfits.


What color pants go with a black shirt?

There can be nothing darker than black, so you can’t go with darker pants when wearing a black polo shirt. Opt for pants in lighter hues, start with khakis or white pants, if they happen to be your cup of tea. Khaki shades look great with a black shirt, the same can be said about lighter hues of grey. Avoid darker shades of navy, grey, and red, instead, go for a total-black look. Bottom line, lighter hues of grey, khaki, and brown are your best bet when creating stylish black polo shirt combos.

What color do jeans go best with a black shirt?

Blue jeans look way better than black jeans with a black polo shirt. Whatever the shade or fade of blue jeans, it’s going to work with a black polo. Grey jeans, if you happen to have a pair, are the second-best choice for you to team with a black polo shirt. A pair of black jeans, even though most people can pull this monochrome look off, but it’s not for everyone. If you are a fan of all-black outfits then go for a pair of black jeans, otherwise, stick with blue or grey, this is going to be much more effortless and stylish.

Does a black polo shirt go with blue pants?

A black polo shirt goes well with a pair of blue jeans and blue pants for that matter. Blue jeans will work with a black polo no matter what the shade. But the same can’t be said about blue pants, because darker shades of blue or navy will be tough to style with a black polo shirt. Light shades of blue will work best with a black shirt.

Can you wear a black polo with brown shoes?

Naturally, you should be pairing a black pair of shoes with a black polo, brown shoes should only be used when you are using a belt in similar shades and texture or when you are using pants in earthy tones. Otherwise, stick with black shoes when you are rocking a crisp black polo shirt up top. 

Can you wear a black polo with khaki pants?

Absolutely yes, khaki pants and chinos are made for a black shirt. For a black polo shirt, khakis are the best choice to create a stylish relaxed smart casual look. You can tuck in your polo shirt, and introduce a black leather belt and a pair of black leather shoes to nail this classic black polo shirt outfit, a look that works for everyone. 

Can you wear a black polo shirt with blue shorts:

Wearing blue shorts with a black polo shirt? You should opt for this combo only if you are planning to use blue denim shorts. Dark blue or navy shorts with a black polo shirt should be avoided because they will look near monochrome. A monochrome look with shorts is a tricky area and this look doesn’t work for all men. Opt for light blue faded denim shorts with a black polo for an effortlessly cool look.


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